Scientology link to family killing

A woman charged with murdering her father and sister was allegedly forced to stop taking psychiatric drugs by her family because of their Church of Scientology beliefs.

Bankstown Local Court heard yesterday the woman’s parents asked her to stop taking the drugs and denied her access to mental health treatment because it went against the controversial church’s anti-drugs stance.

The woman, 25, faced court yesterday charged with the stabbing murders of her father, 53, and sister, 15, in their Revesby home last Thursday.

She is also charged with a stabbing attack on her mother, 52.

The court heard the woman’s parents were both Scientologists and opposed to psychiatric treatment.

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“Scientology is evil; its techniques are evil; its practice is a serious threat to the community, medically, morally, and socially; and its adherents are sadly deluded and often mentally ill… (Scientology is) the world’s largest organization of unqualified persons engaged in the practice of dangerous techniques which masquerade as mental therapy.”
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The woman was allegedly diagnosed with a psychiatric condition last year and medicated. But in January she was allegedly ordered by her parents to stop taking her medicine.

The court heard they instead insisted their daughter take medication imported from the US, which was “not psychiatric in nature” and complied with the Church of Scientology’s rules.

But the court heard the woman was allowed to resume taking her prescribed anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medication when her symptoms returned.

Psychiatrist Dr Mark Cross, who examined the woman at Liverpool Hospital after her arrest, told the court she suffered from panic, anxiety, depression and anger and felt paranoid and unsafe.

“Follow-up from the mental health team (at Bankstown Hospital) was apparently declined by her parents due to their Scientology beliefs,” Dr Cross said in a written assessment tendered to court yesterday.

“She stated that her parents did not want her to take the prescribed medication she had been on in 2006.

“She described worsening of her symptoms over the past three weeks or so culminating in her parents apparently allowing her to restart her anti-psychotic medication recently as it helped her sleep.”.

The woman, who cannot be identified, allegedly told Dr Cross she had an argument with her mother on the day of the alleged murders and was “still angry and upset” when she got home on Thursday July 5.

“She described strong suicidal thoughts as well as what can only be described as a crisis of her faith.”

The court was told between 3.40 and 3.50pm she stabbed her father and sister, who died of their injuries.

She then allegedly attacked her mother, who ran to neighbours covered in blood for help.

The court heard police found the woman walking in a nearby street and she allegedly said: “What have I done? I just butchered my family . . . I um got angry and I stabbed my dad, my mum and my sister.”

She later underwent surgery for self-inflicted wounds to both her wrists and appeared in court yesterday with wrists bandaged.

The court heard she became agitated while being treated at Liverpool Hospital and began yelling at staff trying to restrain her.

“I just want a knife,” she allegedly said. “I want more killing. More, I need more . . . I’m wanting more killing,” she allegedly yelled before screaming “die bitch die” at a nurse.

The mother was last night in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

The court heard the woman had moved back to the family home after a relationship breakdown and other stresses including changing her church from Scientology to an Evangelical church.

The woman, who was supported by a group of about 20 family and friends in court yesterday, has not yet been interviewed by police because of her mental state.

Magistrate Anthony Spence ordered Corrective Services to place her in a psychiatric facility while in custody for assessment and treatment.

“I read the (police) facts and they show a distressing set of circumstances and there seems to be very profound mental health issues in this case to say the least,” Mr Spence said.

She has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of cause wounding/grievous bodily harm with intent to murder.

She did not enter pleas or apply for bail yesterday. She was remanded in custody to appear before Burwood Local Court tomorrow.

Outside court a family spokesman, who did not wish to be identified, said they wanted what was best for her.

“We all want the best for our family member and we’re satisfied that’s happened,” the man said.

“That’s all the family have to say at the moment and we’d appreciate a bit of space to keep moving on,” he said.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday July 9, 2007.
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